How To Cleanse Your Blood With Herbs

Firstly – it is important to understand how your blood becomes toxic in the first place!  What makes our blood not be its usual health, free-flowing self?

Really this is down to our lives, our diet, our activities, our bowel and all of those together!

Let’s begin at the beginning – blood is created in part from nutrients extracted in the digestive tract as a result of the action of the spleen-pancreas; blood is formed when this extract is combined with the kidney essence know as jing.  Much the body’s jing is stored in the bone marrow, which correlates with the contemporary Western knowledge that blood is generated in the marrow.

Signs of blood deficiency:

Paleness of the lips, nailbeds, tongue and complexion in general, thinness, spots in the field of vision, unusual hair loss, premature graying and thin, dry hair, dry skin, and trembling or numbness in the arms or hands.  Disorders associated with blood  deficiency are anemia, nervousness, low back pain, and headache; menses that are painful or lacking often result from blood deficiency.

Blood deficiency is caused by inadequate intake of nutrients, by the inability to absorb nutrients, or by the loss of blood through gastro-intestinal bleeding or excessive menstrual flow.  Chronic diseases and stagnant blood that inhibits formation of new blood are additional causes.

To enrich and build the blood through nutrition, there are two general approaches – increase the digestive absorption of nutrients, and add those specific nutrients which generate healthy blood.  To encourage absorption, build the qi energy and reduce damp/mucuous conditions (another post!).  The nutrients most often needed to cure blood deficiencies are iron, folic acid, and vitamin B12.  Adequate protein is also essential.  Of these nutrients, insufficient iron is the most prevalent cause of anaemia, but it is not always cured simply with the addition of iron.  In order to absorb iron, one needs adequate copper and B vitamins as well as vitamin C.

Good sources of iron are distributed widely among plant foods, including vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds.  Moreover, when a variety of these foods is consumed in their unrefined states, abundant protein, copper and B vitamins necessary for iron absorption will be available.  Sufficient vitamin C is also available from certain of these foods (such as cabbage, bell peppers, chilli, broccoli, sprouts, parsley and rose hip tea).

For the first stages of treatment of blood deficiency, one may want to add to the diet the richest sources of iron.  These are the algae, including both seaweeds and micro-algae such as spirulina.  Folic acid is found in abundance in micro-algae, sprouts, leafy greens and chlorophyll-rich foods in general, but it is easily lost in prolonged cooking.  Eating raw or lightly steamed greens or sprouts regularly ensures ample folic acid in the diet.

One way to obtain high levels of B12 is to use bacteria-derived tablets of B12.  Most blood deficiencies will quickly improve with the addition of even moderate amounts of the above key blood-building foods, which are primarily grains, legumes, sprouts, green foods and vegetables (Please note that here sprouts mean sprouted seeds or grains rather than the family of brassica type!)

Hair And Blood Quality

Hair is one indicator of blood quality.  In oridental medicine, hair is said to be an extension of the blood and, therefore, is influenced by the health of the spleen-pancreas and kidneys.  In addition,  the head hair is directly affected by the kidneys in other ways.  Healthy hair is lustrous and thick.  Hair loss and prematurely gray hair can be treated by improving the blood quality and strengthening the spleen-pancreas and kidneys.

Certain foods have traditionally been used to prevent gray hair – hijiki seaweed, blackstrap molasses (too much may have the opposite effect), nettles, and wheat grass.  These four foods are especially rich in the blood-building nutrient – iron, and nettles and wheat grass are concentrated in chlorophyll as well.  The eating of nettles, hijiki and wheat grass is also thought to help keep hair from falling out.  the famous chinese blood tonic Polygonum multiflorum has been used to darken gray hair, but this black root is far too warming and tonifying to the liver for most Westerners, causing depression and anger in many cases.  Therefore it is not recommended except for those who were raised on low-meat, low-fat diets and do not have signs of an excessive liver.  Another chinese remedy for prematurely gray hair is black sesame seed, which is also quite laxative and should not be used if it causes loose stools.

Americans have the greatest incidence of baldness of any people – this is understandable since hair loss is tied to high-fat, high protein- diets, which damage the kidneys and create acidic blood.  Meat and dairy, besides being high in fat and protein, are also generally considered ‘sweet’ in oriental medicine.  Considering the additional sweets, desserts and sugar-laced foods and drinks in which Americans indulge, we can see that the sweet flavour dominates the typical diet.

Western Herbs For The Blood

One thing that needs to be clearly understood before listing these herbs – is that there is always a cause for toxic blood – that needs to be addressed as well!  Whether it is the impure air we breathe; the diet we poison ourselves with; the emotional stress we live under or any other outside interference that affects our inner health. Our bowel – if toxic will ALWAYS cause conditions of the blood.  All needs to be taken into consideration to change the symptom!

These are mainly alteratives – herbs that gradually alter and correct the impure conditions of the blood.

Blood - How To Cleanse It With Herbs

Burdock – Arctium lappa

Plantain – Plantago major OR Plantago lanceolata

Blood - How To Cleanse It With Herbs

Plantain – Plantago major

Red Clover blossoms – Trifolium pratense

Blood - How To Cleanse It With Herbs

Red Clover Blossoms – Trifolium pratense

Poke Root – Trifolium pratense (also a specific for lymph conditions)

Burdock Root – Arctium lappa

Chaparral – Larrea mexicana – fantastic at detoxing the blood of diesel, chemical drugs, aviation fuel and the like.

Oregon Grape – Berberis aquifolium

Sarsparilla Root – smilax officinalis

Cleavers – Galium aperine – another lymph specific

Nettle Root – Urtica dioica

Garlic – Allium sativum – for everything!

Blood - How To Cleanse It With Herbs

Garlic – Allium sativum – The Best Herb In The World!

Liquorice Root – Glycyrhizza glabra – the nurse herb – works so well for the adrenal glands in stress conditions and allows ease of taking other herbs – hence ‘nurse’

Please remember that you are so what you eat, what you think and how you live.  If you have a blood condition – remember that your blood is the river of your life.  What are you doing with yours?  How are you living yours?  What is wrong with how you are doing it?

Take the time to go inside and listen well to what you body is trying to tell you – only when you listen and take action on what is causing the problem will you successfully be able to treat what is, after all, only a symptom of how you live!

Feel your way forward!  Listen to your body!  It is the voice of truth!